Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gardening Resources Online

With the spurts of warm weather we've been having (and April brings us National Garden Month), I'm in the mood to get my hands dirty and prep my vegetable garden, spruce up the plantings around the house. Below are some wonderful online resources that will get you in the mood, too.

I can't end this post without nudging you over to your local library. Search the online catalog under the subject Gardening, and you'll see we have a lot to offer, including DVDs as well as books.

So are you ready to clean up your gardening tools and get weeding and planting? I know I am!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Investing - Resources @ Your Library

Are you an investor hungry for trusted/unbiased sources of information? The library subscribes to a number of online databases that can assist you with your investment decisions, including Standard & Poor's Outlook, Value Line and Morningstar. To access these online databases (for FREE!), visit your local branch of the Fauquier County Public Library system and ask the reference librarian to log you in. (Note: all of these resources are also available in print, for use in the library.)

If you can't make it in to the library and are looking for supplemental information about various companies, industries and the like, you can use your library card to log in to ReferenceUSA and the Business & Company Resource Center, which was the February E-Resource of the Month. There are also a number of free investment/personal finance/financial literacy/financial news Web sites available, including:

If you are visiting the library or the library's Web site, use our online catalog to search for resources the library owns by the subjects "investments," "finance, personal" "stocks" and "mutual funds."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Expanded Access to ReferenceUSA

ReferenceUSA, which I profiled way back in April 2007, has recently been expanded beyond US Businesses to include data on:

  • US Healthcare - Detailed information on over 675,000 doctors and 180,000 dentists - if you only want female doctors that attended Virginia Commonwealth University, this is the database that will help you locate her.

  • Canadian Businesses - Over 1.5 million businesses located in Canada.

  • CorpTech - Access hard-to-find details on 285,000 executives at 95,000 companies specializing in 17 industries, including biotech and computer software.

  • US New Businesses - More than 50,000 new businesses added each week - good for researching trends, areas of economic development.

  • US Residential - Access over 100 million US Residents to conduct market research.

  • Canadian Residential - Research over 12 million Canadian households.

  • US New Homeowners - Updated weekly with 100,000 entries, use this database to reach people moving into your neighborhood or a particular area of the US.

  • US Lifestyles - Research consumers based on their lifestyles, hobbies and interests. For example, if you were planning on opening a store that sells tennis equipment, you could do a search under Lifestyles = Sports, narrow specifically to Tennis and then search the county you were interested in locating your store in.

ReferenceUSA used to be available only within a Fauquier County Public Library. Now, however, you can access this handy resource from home with your library card number. You'll always find the database listed at our Web site ( under Find Information > Search for Articles & More.

Money Saving Tips from Google

Looking for ways to save money, live well in lean times? Check out Google's Tip Jar. Users can read and submit money-saving tips. Categories include Food, Vacation and Cars & Transit.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2009 e-Resource of the Month: BioRC

With March being Women’s History Month, it’s the perfect time to spotlight the Biography Resource Center.

The Biography Resource Center is a comprehensive database of biographical information on over 380,000 people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas. It combines more than 450,000 biographies from respected sources such as Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Newsmakers, Historic World Leaders, Notable Twentieth-Century Scientists, Contemporary Black Biography, Religious Leaders of America, International Dictionary of Art and Artists, Writers Directory, and many more, with full-text articles from more than 300 magazines and newspapers including American History, The Christian Century, Saturday Night, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and USA Today. This provides users with instant access to a wealth of biographical data compiled by Gale over more than 50 years, as well as more than 27,000 images, in-depth coverage of key events, and up-to-date reporting that can be found in magazines and newspapers. Also, web addresses in the “Further Readings” sections of thousands of biographies are hyperlinked for direct access to online sources used to inform or supplement the profiles.

Students will find this database especially handy, as they can search for biographies by name, browse by category (including Notable Women, Obama Administration Nominees, etc.) and even by occupation and ethnicity. There is also a spotlight biography which is updated several times a month.

To access the Biography Resource Center, visit your local library or log in from your home computer via the Biography Resource Center link on the library's Web Site (Find Information > Search for Articles & More > Biography Resource Center).

For in-depth analysis of a person of interest, be sure to check out the library's collection of biographies.